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Des Moines police investigating a report of an assault on the city’s east side early Sunday morning arrested a man wanted in connection with the death of a woman killed in her Ames apartment last month.
Police arrested 33-year-old Richard George Fleck after responding to a home in the 2500 block of Garfield Avenue, in Des Moines, just before 1 a.m. Sunday to investigate a report of an assault.
When they arrived on the scene, first responders found a woman suffering from serious facial injuries, according to a news release. She was transported by Des Moines Fire Department medics to MercyOne – Des Moines, where she remains hospitalized but is expected to survive.
According to the release, officers say a witness had interrupted the attack before fleeing the home to call police. Fleck allegedly chased after the witness and began to assault her, police say, before neighbors intervened and he fled on foot.
Police say they found Fleck attempting to hide in a tree, and he was taken into custody without incident.
Fleck had been wanted for first-degree murder charges in connection with the death of his girlfriend, Ranea Bell, last month.
Bell, 37, was found dead when police performed a welfare check at her Ames apartment on Saturday, Feb. 20.
Fleck had been staying with her for about a month, Ames Police Cmdr. Jason Tuttle said at the time, adding that her death was a result of blunt force trauma. Police had been asked by Kansas City, Mo., authorities to check on Bell after her belongings were found in Fleck’s Kansas City apartment.
After being contacted by Des Moines police Sunday morning, Ames Police Department investigators responded to the scene and took Fleck into custody.
► More: Woman murdered in Ames apartment identified by police; arrest warrant issued against boyfriend
Bell was an optician at Whylie Eye Care Center, the Ames Tribune reported last month. She attended Ames High School and Des Moines Area Community College, where she studied to become a certified nursing assistant, according to her Facebook page.
Long after graduation, Bell was “the life of the party” and enjoyed making spontaneous plans to go out to downtown bars, her friend Jayme Peters recalled last month.
And she was as fun-loving as she was loyal, her friends said. Nicci Deal remembered their high school friend group clowning around in class, “supposed to be learning but not really paying attention.”
“She had one of those laughs that was just absolutely infectious,” Deal told the Tribune.
► More on Bell, ‘an absolute sweetheart’: Friends remember Ames woman allegedly killed by boyfriend
In addition to the pending murder charge, Des Moines police, in conjunction with the Polk County Attorney’s Office, say they plan to charge Fleck with attempted murder and willful injury causing serious injury in connection with the Sunday morning assault.
The Ames Tribune’s Isabella Rosario contributed to this report.